TANDY HILLS 
NATURAL AREA

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The Tandy Hills Natural Area is a 180 acres swath of prairie a couple miles east of downtown Fort Worth. There are areas of the park where you are totally cut off from any view of modern Texas, which lets you see Fort Worth as it looked when the first settlers rode into town long long ago. Tandy Hills Park provides some of the best wildflower viewing in north Texas. Stands of native Big Bluestem Grass are older than the oldest oaks growing along the Trinity River. 
The trails in the Tandy Hills can be quite adventuresome, steep and rocky. There are some pleasant surprises, like creeks flowing with crystal clear water. The park has long suffered from neglect. You run into a few burned out cars, roofing material long ago dumped with trees growing from the mess. And it being Texas the crystal clear water has some litter floating in it. There are plans afoot to improve Tandy Hills Park, to somehow connect it to Gateway Park on the other side of the I-30 Interstate. There is also talk of drilling for Barnett Shale natural gas. Gas drilling in the park has some very vocal opposition. Also, nearby, is well regarded Oakland Lake Park.

click a thumbnail to view a photo

The faded sign at the southern edge of Tandy Hills Park, facing View Street, says----

THIS 160 ACRES OF SCENIC PARK LAND IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THE NATIVE LANDSCAPE HAS CHANGED BECAUSE OF ITS LOCATION IN THE CENTER OF A GROWING URBAN ENVIRONMENT. IN EARLY DAYS FIRES CAUSED BY LIGHTNING AND/OR OTHER MEANS WOULD HAVE MAINTAINED THESE ROLLING PRAIRIE HILLS FREE OF TREES WHILE ENCOURAGING PRAIRIE GRASSES TO GROWN TO PROPERLY PROTECT THE NATIVE GRASSES AND FLOWERS, MANAGE THESE PARK HILLS AND VALLEYS AND CONTROL SOIL EROSION, . THE PARK AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT REQUESTS YOUR ASSISTANCE...
Tandy Hills Falls This photo of Tandy Hills Falls was taken March 24, 2008. The water is very clear, the foliage is starting to look jungle-like. And Tandy Hills Falls was roaring due to the increased water levels due to the recent rains.

Fort Worth Prairie Fest website
for Friends of Tandy Hills Park

Looking west towards downtown Fort Worth. Does any other large city in America have this type of wild environment so close to its downtown?

A zoomed closer look at Fort Worth. You can see the flying saucer part of the Fort Worth Convention Center and the cranes being used to build the new Convention Center Omni Hotel.
Visit our Eyes on Texas Blog's post about the Tandy Hills Prairie Fest to make a comment...
Looking at downtown Fort Worth from the highest point at Tandy Hills Park. Yet one more view of downtown Fort Worth. From this vantage point, the highest in the park, you can see the giant Interstate 30/35/287 freeway exchange known as The Mixmaster.
Blue Stem Grass on the wild prairie of Tandy Hills Park. Winterized Blue Stem Grass late on a January day at Tandy Hills Park.

If you are in the neighborhood visiting Tandy Hills Park you might also want to check out nearby Oakland Lake Park.

The rocky trails make for great hiking.

The late in the day sun casts a long shadow. The late afternoon sun of a mid January day casts a long shadow on the Tandy Hills Park Prairie.
 
Watch our Tandy Hills Park video below on YouTube
If you are looking for a mountain climbing type experience in mostly flat Texas, the Tandy Hills Park Trails will give you a good simulation of climbing a steep mountain trail. While steep, the elevation gains are not in the thousands of feet, but maybe 100 to 300 feet elevation gain.
Deep in the heart of the park we come across a stream of very clear water.
The trails are in varying states of quality. Here the trail looks well groomed and heavily used. In other areas the trails have suffered from erosion that makes them more of a rocky challenge.
Does it appear in these photos that you are near the heart of a city of over 600,000 population? With just a little imagination you can picture what north Texas was like hundreds of years ago before civilization arrived altering the landscape.
The Fort Worth Space Needle. On Chesapeake Energy property. The tall tower you see in the distance is known by some as the Fort Worth Space Needle. The Fort Worth Space Needle is a transmission tower that sits on Chesapeake Energy land, outside Tandy Hills Park. Chesapeake is raising the possibility of drilling in this location, possibly doing slant drilling under the park. Protests are likely to ensue should this plan go foward.
tandyhillsparkmarch.jpg (141695 bytes) Sometime in February of 2008 we noticed the start of what has become an ever growing shrine. It is located near the above picture Fort Worth Space Needle. The shrine is made up of unnatural items us hikers find in the park. Like electrical parts, pieces of fiber glass, metal, golf balls, kid's toys and more.
TANDY HILLS PARK MAP
 & DIRECTIONS
To find the trails at Tandy Hills Park use the map below to find your way to the location you see here on View Street.

Park on the street by the playground. Follow the paved trail til it ends in a circle where you will see the bench that says 'Fort Worth' on it.

Continue on, walking on the grass til it becomes a trail. From that point you will come to more trails and if you are lucky you will get lost and have a fun time finding your way back to your starting point.

Map to Tandy Hills Park in Fort Worth, Texas

Visit our Eyes on Texas Blog to make a 
comment about the Tandy Hills

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